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Oracle Offers Dev Tools for VS.NET
Oracle's decision to join the VSIP program means more support for the .NET developer community.
by Richard Hundhausen

VSLive! San Francisco, February 9, 2005

Watch the video of the keynote! (Running time: 43 minutes)

Andy Mendelsohn
Senior Vice President
Oracle Database Server Technologies

Oracle Corp. released its Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NET into beta last week and plans to release the shipping version in the first half of 2005, said Andy Mendelsohn, Senior Vice President of Database Server Technologies for Oracle, in Wednesday's VSLive! keynote. As a new member of Microsoft's Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program, Oracle is "very committed to the Windows environment," he said.


Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NET offers features to enhance productivity and allows developers to stay in the VS.NET environment for the entire project lifecycle, said Mendelsohn. Oracle developers now can interact with Oracle servers using the same drag-and-drop capabilities SQL Server developers use inside Visual Studio, as demonstrated by Principal Product Manager Christian Shay.

The demonstration centered around the Oracle Explorer, which is similar in look and feel to the Server Explorer or the Data Connection Explorer. It allows a developer to view the schema quickly, as well as add or edit Oracle database objects such as databases, tables, views, stored procedures, functions, packages, synonyms, sequences, XML databases, and Java classes.

Shay modified one of the tables and brought up a multitab dialog allowing him to alter the table schema in several ways. You can use this dialog to add a column, change a data type, modify a constraint, alter storage information, or add an index. A double-click on one of the tables returned the table data in a familiar, editable grid.

The Oracle Explorer, like Server Explorer, lets you drag tables and stored procedures onto the design surface. The drop operation results in the creation of OracleConnection, OracleCommand, and OracleDataAdapter objects, which are displayed in the component tray inside Visual Studio. Viewing the code behind the form shows the standard ADO.NET code, which you can modify as necessary.

Finally, you can create, edit, execute, and debug stored procedures. The embedded PLSQL editor supports color coding and collapsible regions for readability, as well as dropdown lists for other database objects, such as tables, as you type.

Mendelsohn also hinted at another product named Oracle Database Extensions for .NET, due to ship with Oracle 10g Release 2 in mid 2005. The product will enable developers to write .NET stored procedures for Oracle on Windows; feature a server-side data provider; and support C#, Visual Basic .NET, and Managed C++. On a related note, 10g Release 2 also will support runtime load balancing.

Today, developers can use Oracle Database Provider (ODP) for .NET to build applications against Oracle 8i and later databases. Mendelsohn promised that Oracle will continue to extend and support ODP, along with all its other data access APIs. Oracle plans to update ODP for version 2.0 of the .NET Framework later this year. Visit Oracle's .NET Developer Center for information and downloads. Developers who want to join the Oracle 10gR2 beta program are invited to e-mail Alex Keh.

About the Author
Richard Hundhausen is writing Introducing Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2005 Team System Beta Edition for Microsoft Press. Check out his blog, Tales from the Doghouse, at http://blog.hundhausen.com.

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